While responding to every comment in the social world would be a nice luxury during a crisis, it’s simply an unrealistic expectation. Learning how to determine which comments you should reply to is key to owning social conversations during a crisis.
The basic equation you’ll want to use is:
Social Influence + Intensity of Comment = Value of Responding
Social Influence: Many services can help you determine this factor. It’s based on how far an individual’s influence travels in the social world. Considerations for this value include how many followers the individual has on Twitter and friends/fans on Facebook.
A second factor is whether the individual has “active” fans/followers. If this person posts something, will his fans then extend that impact by retweeting, reposting, commenting, etc.? The greater the total number of fans and followers multiplied by the likelihood of those fans engaging with the content equals “social influence.”
Intensity of Comment: This is a factor for both positive and negative comments. A neutral comment doesn’t have a huge impact in the social world—but highly charged statements do In order to have the greatest impact in the social conversation, focus on the comments that are most likely to elicit responses because they take a firm stance.
Value of Responding: When you know the social influence combined with the intensity of the comment, you’ll be able to determine whether you should take the time to respond to that user. Your main goal is to engage the social conversation regarding the crisis. Every time that conversation extends further (social influence), you’ll want to re-engage it with either feedback or support.